Amazing Views of Antarctic Wildlife
Wildlife photographer Justin Hofman is a lover of nature, and invites us to discover his incredible series of photographs
titled Antarctic Wildlife which discovers the beauty and life of the Antarctic Peninsula — up close and very personal in their native habitat.
These astonishing photographs provide an incredible glimpse of the lives of penguins, dolphins, whales and the particularly fascinating creature, the majestic elephant seal.
Hofman captured these amazing images at Gold Harbour on South Georgia in the Antarctic, braving the powerful and ferocious elephant seal’s wrath to get the close-up shots.
Several of the photographs capture a massive elephant seal seemingly laughing and smug at his fortune in the surf after managing to get a harem of 30 females for mating - all to himself.
Elephant seals can hold their breath longer than any other cetacean animal, staying under water without air for up to two hours. They spend most of their lives at sea and only return to land to mate. The big beasts can grow to be 16 feet long and weigh over 6,000 pounds; the smaller females are normally about 10 feet long and weigh in at around 2,000 pounds.
Hofman states: “When they’re not fighting, you can pretty much stand within arm’s length of them, just sitting there watching them breathe, looking at their scars and being awed by their size,’ he said. ‘But when they get up and start to bellow, you know it’s time to step back.”
They were almost hunted to extinction in the 19th and 20th centuries but since then the population is estimated to have recovered to about 700,000 members.
sources 1, 2, 3